A free programme will give up to 250 Christchurch jobseekers the opportunity and skills to successfully launch their own business.
Start Me Up will help participants kickstart their new business idea with access to advice, master classes and support from Ōtautahi Christchurch’s business community - all at no cost.
Potential business owners or those interested in learning about the start-up process, and who are currently unemployed and receiving a benefit, will be guided through the process of starting a business to see if their idea has what it takes to be successful.
Open to residents in Christchurch, Selwyn, Ashburton and North Canterbury, the programme will include an online short course for up to 250 people in February and March. This is followed by an in-person accelerator for 30 participants in April and May for those who have taken the short course and want to get serious about building their business.
Hannah Airey, Founder of Badass Brownies, took part in the programme earlier in 2021 and encourages those thinking of applying to give it a go.
Hannah Airey, Founder of Badass Brownies
“Being in a room with people who are all passionate about what they do and who have purpose and drive is invaluable. Connecting with each other and sharing our stories was amazing and the facilitators did a great job of being inclusive of everyone, no matter where we were on our start up journey
Diane McDermott, Ministry of Social Development’s Regional Commissioner for Canterbury said the programme is an ideal opportunity for those unemployed to test out an idea or concept that may have been bubbling away some time.
“Starting a business is something people may often dream of, but few get the chance to embark on the journey with this level of support. Having access to this information, practical advice and support removes some of the risk in the start-up process and enables people to give it a go, and judging from the success of the previous intake it’s a model that works,” said McDermott
From catering to digital marketing to handcrafted goods – business ideas of all kinds are welcomed as part of the initiative.
Boyd Warren, ChristchurchNZ’s General Manager Innovation and Business Growth said supporting more people into self-employment is positive for the entrepreneurs and their whānau, as well as the wider economy.
Boyd Warren, ChristchurchNZ’s General Manager Innovation and Business Growth
“Canterbury currently has just over 16,500 jobseekers, and anything we can do to support these people into decent work will improve prosperity across the city and community. Start Me Up will provide participants with the best chance of success and provide a solid base of business knowledge and connections to help them grow sustainably
Applications close 28 January 2022. The online course will run from 1 February to 1 March, followed by the in-person accelerator from 12 April to 12 May.
More on Start Me Up
Start Me Up continues ChristchurchNZ’s fostering and coordination of innovation and entrepreneurship after recent investments in ThincLab at University of Canterbury Centre for Entrepreneurship, and Ministry of Awesome's Te Ōhaka Centre for Growth and Innovation at Ara Institute of Canterbury.
Start Me Up is supported by Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce, Ashburton District Council, Selwyn District Council and Westpac